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Service Rules for Badminton

Badminton Service Rules - All You Need to Know

In the intricate game of badminton, the serve is more than just a prelude to a rally; it's a strategic move that can shape the entire match. To maintain fairness and uphold the game's integrity, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) has established a set of service rules. Let's delve into these regulations, incorporating recent updates and valuable tips to enhance your serving prowess.

Check out the videos below for the basic rules associated with serving.



Service Height Rule

Since December 2018, a pivotal rule has been enforced in high-level tournaments: the entire shuttlecock must be below 1.15 meters from the court's surface when struck by the server's racket. This rule aims to level the playing field by limiting the power generated during serves.

It's crucial to note that while this height rule is in effect, the traditional rule of striking the serve below the waist remains applicable for non BWF tournamens. This dual regulation not only enhances safety for the receiver but also prevents the generation of excessive power.

Basic Service Rules

Several foundational rules govern the badminton serve:

  1. Server Position: Stand behind the service line within the service court.
  2. Continuous Motion: Deliver the serve in a continuous forward motion.
  3. Racket Position: Keep the racket below the wrist during the strike.
  4. Fair Play: Avoid intentionally confusing or distracting the opponent.

The image below helps identify the key lines for singles and doubles serves

Badminton Court Dimensions at Badminton Warehouse

Additional Service Rules

Several supplementary rules contribute to fair and competitive play:

  • Both feet of the server and the receiver must remain in contact with the court surface from the start of the service until its delivery.
  • The shuttlecock must pass over the net and land within the opponent's service court.
  • In doubles, partners can take positions within their respective courts during the serve, provided they don't obstruct the opposing server or receiver.

Common Service Faults

Umpires penalize various service faults, including:

  • Hitting the shuttlecock above the waist
  • Employing an overarm stroke
  • Serving outside the service court
  • Touching the net or shuttlecock with the body or clothing prematurely
  • Delaying the serve
  • Intentionally confusing or distracting the opponent

Tips for Improving Your Serve

Enhance your serve with these practical tips:

  1. Regular Practice: Develop muscle memory and consistency through regular practice.
  2. Experimentation: Try different serving techniques to find what works best for you.
  3. Variation: Vary your serve speed and placement to keep opponents guessing.
  4. Strategic Awareness: Serve to your opponent's weaker areas based on their positioning.
  5. Focus and Composure: Stay composed, even under pressure, to maintain accuracy.

Understanding the Service Court

The service court is divided into four sections with distinct boundaries, including the center line, short service line, long service line, sideline, and back line. 

Serving in Singles and Doubles

Serving rules slightly differ between singles and doubles:

  • In singles, the service box is long and narrow, with specific rules about what's considered in or out.
  • In doubles, players have one serve per side, and the serve switches after a point loss. The service court is short and wide, and similar rules apply.

Mastering the serve in badminton involves a combination of precision, strategy, and adherence to rules. By understanding and practicing these rules, you can develop a formidable serve that becomes a valuable asset on the court. Elevate your game, one serve at a time.

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